MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - The Hard Rock Stadium COVID-19 testing site had long lines on Monday as officials expected ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
On Monday morning, 7News cameras captured long lines at the site with a wait time of approximately an hour and a half to two hours to get tested.
On Saturday, more than 3,300 individuals had their COVID-19 test done at the site.
Some individuals who are getting tested just want to know their status on the virus, while others must get tested and show proof of a negative test before getting on an airplane.
“We’re advising you to get out earlier rather than later,” said Mike Jachles with the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Officials at the Hard Rock Stadium testing site expected a heavy influx of people on Monday and prepared for the situation.
They ask those who are waiting to get tested to be patient and to use the restroom before arriving at the site.
Those who get tested at the Hard Rock Stadium can expect their results within one or two days, depending on which COVID-19 test was conducted.
Individuals who need a test by Wednesday night or Thursday morning needed to get tested by Monday in order to receive their results in time.
“Right now, you’re cutting it close. We can’t guarantee those results, but it’s going to depend on the lab capacity and how quickly they can turn them around,” Jachles said. “It’s been one to two days, we hope that continues, but we have to advise and let people know that they may be cutting it very, very close.”
On Monday, the state reported more than 6,300 new cases of COVID-19. More than 2,100 of them came out of South Florida, and the number of deaths topped 18,000 residents.
“If you test today, you’re as good as today,” said Dr. Eneida Roldan, CEO of the Florida International University Healthcare Network.
Roldan said a negative COVID-19 test doesn’t mean Thanksgiving is back on. That’s because even if someone gets a negative test result on the same day they take the test, the virus could still be in their system.
“The virus could actually take place at any time within 14 days if you’ve been exposed prior to the testing,” she said.
“That is a false sense of security,” said Dr. David de la Zerda with Jackson Memorial Hospital.
If your extended family does decide to get together for Thanksgiving, even outdoors with their masks on, doctors said, if someone starts developing symptoms or gets a positive test result back, they need to call every single person with whom they came into contact.
“Whatever is the number, two family members or 25 family members, be sure that they know that they were exposed to somebody positive,” De la Zerda said.
Even though officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising everyone to stay put, more than 3 million people are passing through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints all over the country this weekend as COVID-19 cases spike across the U.S.
Miami International Airport is expecting 620,000 passengers over the next 12 days — the most they’ve seen since the pandemic began.
“Keep your mask on, keep your distance, and have a great Turkey Day,” said a traveler.
“We made these plans probably back in March or April. Just kind of keeping our fingers crossed that things would kind of settle down by now,” said Felicia Hayden, who’s traveling from Houston with her family.
“It was never a doubt in our mind that we were going to travel this year,” said Trias Rios before traveling to Memphis.
Officials at the Hard Rock Stadium site advise those who are getting tested to pre-register online, which helps move the line faster.
The site will be closed on Thanksgiving but will reopen on Friday.
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